At some point in your career, you’ll probably start to feel like you should be earning more money.
While some people may opt to change jobs when this happens, for others who are quite happy where they are, it could be time to considering asking for a pay rise.
You might have just discovered your colleagues are paid more than you, or you might just think you’ve been loyal enough to a company that you deserve some financial reward. Whatever the reason, it’s important not to go into the discussion too hot-headed.
According to Clare Moore, a content marketing manager at HR company MHR, just because you believe you deserve more money, that doesn’t mean everyone else thinks the same.
She gave Business Insider a rundown of the steps you should take if you want to make your case for a pay rise. Since it’s your job to convince your manager, so she says a “considered and well-prepared approach is key.”
1. Ask yourself why you deserve it.
Moore said it’s important to be realistic with your expectations. It’s unlikely you’ll suddenly be offered significantly more money, so before you approach the situation you should take a step back and ask yourself a few things:
- When was your last pay increase?
- How long have you been with the organisation?
- Why do you deserve a raise? Has your performance justified it? Are you outperforming colleagues, or consistently hitting targets?
After answering these question you should do some research into the market to see what similar organisations are offering for a comparable role — both locally and nationally. One tool you can use is Reed’s salary checker.
“In addition, you can also speak to your HR department who can tell you how pay increases are calculated within your organisation,” Moore said. “The current average pay rise in the UK is 3.5%, so make sure your expectations are realistic.”
2. Sell yourself to your manager — in person.
Pick your moment. Ask your manager for a quiet word when they aren’t swamped with other things. When they’re busy, they will be less likely to want to hear you out. Moore says it’s also a good idea to give them a heads up beforehand, perhaps in an email, so they can be prepared.
When you’re in the meeting, it’s time to make your case with clear examples and evidence of why you deserve more money.
“Like a job interview, you have to sell yourself,” Moore said. “In particular, highlight areas where you have taken the initiative, improved business, or gone the extra mile. Your manager may not realise that a recent upturn in team performance was due to an initial idea you had — so tell them.”
It’s also a good idea to bring up the future of the company and where you see yourself within it, Moore says.
3. Follow up.
If your manager agrees to a raise, that’s great. However, if they refuse, try not to take it personally. There could be many reasons for this, including the fact there may not be the budget for it.
Moore says you should ask your manager what you need to do to move up a pay band, and whether there is any extra training you could do to get there. This is a better strategy than feeling aggrieved and burning your bridges.
Once you’ve opened up the discussion, your manager will know it’s on your mind and it means you can talk about it again when the company is in a different position, or you’ve taken on some extra responsibilities.
“The key to asking for a pay rise is plucking up the courage to do so in the first place,” Moore said. “Yes, it can be nerve-wracking and intimidating, but if you feel strongly that you should be paid more, then the worst thing you can do is remain silent as you will start to feel resentful and it could impact workplace relations.”
Whichever way the conversation goes, you’ll probably feel better just for broaching the subject.
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